California's Primary Watershed

Map illustrating the flow of water from the Sierra Nevada Region as described below.

The Sierra Nevada Region

  • The Sierra Nevada Region is the primary source of water for the California State Water Project (SWP) and the Federal Central Valley Project (CVP). Together these two systems deliver water to two-thirds of California's population and provide irrigation water for more than one-third of the agricultural land in California.
  • The Sierra Nevada Region is the primary source of fresh water flowing into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. In addition, cities like Sacramento rely on Sierra rivers for their drinking water.
  • Millions of people in the San Francisco and the East Bay areas rely on water that is piped directly from the Sierra Nevada via Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and the Mokelumne River Aqueduct system.
  • Water from the Sierra Nevada region travels hundreds of miles via California's aqueduct system to reach homes and businesses in the Los Angeles basin.
  • Farms and ranches in the Sacramento & San Joaquin Valleys rely on water from the rivers of the Sierra Nevada, which feeds into the California State Water Project and Central Valley Project to grow the food that we eat.

Photo Credit; California Department of Water Resources
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